Monthly Archives: October 2011


October 7th Podcast: The Case for Increasing the Priority of Community College Career Technical Education Programs

Nancy Shulock, Executive Director; Colleen Moore, Researcher; Jeremy Offenstein, Researcher; Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy (IHELP), Sacramento State.

The career technical education (CTE) mission of the California Community Colleges is a vital part of the agenda to increase college completion and shore up economic competitiveness; yet this area of college academic programming gets too little emphasis and support. There is growing evidence of high market value of certificate and associate degree programs in select areas. There is also evidence that career-oriented programs can increase student motivation and improve outcomes, helping to meet workforce, equity, and productivity goals for California postsecondary education. Yet the attention given to CTE has not matched that given to the junior college transfer mission or to developmental education.

This session reviewed the evidence produced to date in a multi-year research agenda on community college CTE. IHELP researchers documented the high student interest in CTE along with the very low numbers of certificates and associate degrees awarded. They summarized the results of a system-wide inventory of CTE programs, by college, that suggests the need for far more attention to developing coherent program structures that deliver value to students and employers. They also discussed some of the challenges facing the colleges presented by the organizational structure around the CTE and workforce development mission and drew some contrasts with other states that have assigned a higher priority to the CTE mission.

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December 9th Seminar: Expanding College-and-career Pathways for High School Students. What Does it Cost?

December 9
David Stern, University of California, Berkeley
Expanding College-and-career Pathways for High School Students: What Does it Cost?

To improve the preparation of California high school students for postsecondary education and careers, in 2006 the James Irvine Foundation launched a major initiative to develop what is now called the Linked Learning approach. The Foundation asked PACE to inform this effort by gathering evidence on the cost of Linked Learning programs. This seminar presents the results.

The Linked Learning strategy is based on previous studies, mainly on evaluations of career academies. Prior research found that combining academic and career-technical coursework in a small-school setting, with work-based learning related to classroom instruction, can produce positive outcomes for students during and after high school. The focus of this seminar is on costs, not on outcomes. David Stern of the University of California, Berkeley, will discuss how the study’s authors attempted to measure the actual resources that go into the programs, rather than relying on administrative budgets; focused on incremental rather than total costs; and distinguished between start-up and ongoing costs.